6.01.2012

THE WRITING SHED


My sons and I have an ongoing conversation about ideal houses. What they should look like, what they should contain. One son is enamored of wood-burning stoves and that is key to his idea of home; the other wants small, fitted places for sleeping and reading and meditating, suitable for one, but near the mothership--and he's had this idea of home since he was a small child.

I am intrigued by sheds and shacks with specific, dedicated purposes. Jill Krementz took a photograph of E. B. White in his writing shack in Maine, once a fish shack; it is one of my all-time favorite portraits. I love everything about it. The way she framed him, from the side, on his hard wooden bench, at his typewriter, the barrel for crumpled sheets of paper, the ocean through the window, the window itself, and the shed wide open to the water. And White himself, one of my Writing Gods.


My niece Elodie (L.O.D.) is shaping up to be an interesting writer; she just graduated from Vassar. What a gorgeous place. I fell for this shed at the back of the house she (and 20 other students) are renting. She calls it her Writing Shed. I could instantly feel how safe she felt, during the hours she spent writing (longhand, first draft). Safe, secure, quiet, peaceful enough to begin to locate and refine her writing voice. She's got everything she needs in here. This shed goes in my Inspiration File.  

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